Updated: Dec 24, 2019
We’ll be brief and to the point. Everytown has two funds, the Action Fund and the Support Fund. The Action fund is 501(c)4 and the Support Fund is 501(c)3. The difference?
Under Internal Revenue Service rules, a 501(c)3 is a non-profit for religious, charitable or educational purposes. These types of non-profits typically conduct research and can only engage in a limited amount of lobbying, advocacy or political activity.
Donations to 501(c)3 groups are tax-deductible.
A 501(c)4 is a social welfare group and can engage in more advocacy and lobbying. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling allows businesses and unions to donate unlimited money to 501(c)4 groups, and they can be tied to so-called “super PACs” which raised and spent millions on political advocacy during the 2012 election.
Donations to 501(c)4 groups are not tax-deductible, and donors are often not disclosed.
(c)3’s gotta be careful on what they do, as it’s purpose is education & research (which is what they state).
So, what’s the issue? Per the linked (above) 990 for the support fund:
Over $600k transferred to the Action Fund for the sole purpose of lobbying. It gets better though, per the IRS regarding what (c)3’s can and can’t do: